Any evidence gathered illegally cannot support your drug possession charges in North Carolina, according to FindLaw. You have constitutional rights to privacy, security and due process. When law enforcement obtains evidence by violating your rights, that evidence becomes inadmissible. Furthermore, the prosecution cannot use any additional testimony gained directly from the illegally obtained evidence.

To suppress evidence, your lawyer must file a court motion. Here are a few ways the judge could throw out evidence as inadmissible:

Improperly executed warrant

Officers can only gather specific evidence detailed in a valid search warrant. For example, if law enforcement suspects you of an internet crime, a judge could issue an order for them to enter your house but only take your computers. If officers search the back of your freezer (no computers there) and find an illegal substance, they likely cannot use it to charge you with drug possession because it falls beyond the scope of the warrant.

No probable cause

If the authorities wish to conduct a search without first getting a warrant, they need probable cause to suspect that you have or will commit a crime. If officers pull your car over, order you out and search it for no other reason than “it looks like the kind of car that a drug user would drive,” it would not be enough for a legal search. If they find a controlled substance in your glove compartment, it is probably inadmissible.

Broken chain of custody

Once officers have legally gathered evidence against you, they must handle and transport it in a manner that prevents contamination or tampering. This procedure is the chain of custody. If the police do not correctly seal an evidence bag or leave your confiscated possessions in the front seat of a car, for example, a judge could rule the chain broken and suppress the evidence.